Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “top-down”


adjective [before noun]     /ˌtɒpˈdaʊn/ US   /ˈtɑːp-/ MANAGEMENT
starting from the highest levels or from the most general ideas of an organization , system , plan , etc.: Staff were not happy with the top-down approach to managment of the new CEO . The attempt to impose top-down decisions was resisted at every level . This report follows a top-down model in its assessment of the problems we face . → Compare bottom-up
(Definition of top-down adjective from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of top-down

More Business English definitions for “top-down”

Definitions of “top-down” in other dictionaries

Translations of “top-down”

Word of the Day


to pour liquid slowly over something, especially in a thin line or in small drops

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More